Oftentimes, your situation does not meet the level of serious violence where you have to flee, but you are subject to ongoing intimidation. This is also a form of violence or battering. Understand that when you are being victimized, your children are at risk for being hurt too. Furthermore, you are teaching them about your expectations for relationships, a kind of learning that they may carry with them throughout their life and repeat when it is their turn to become involved in intimate relations. Set standards for how you will allow yourself and your children to be treated. Click here for a terrific article on boundary setting.
Indications that your partner has gone too far include: getting angry at you when you disagree; punching holes in walls; throwing objects (aimed at nothing or at you); destroying belongings; threatening to hurt you or leave you for the purpose of creating fear in you; physically restraining you from leaving home; putting pressure on you not to work when you want to; insulting or ridiculing you; becoming jealous of your friends, activities, or hobbies; making you account for your whereabouts at all times; using promises and lies to manipulate you or to get you to forgive an angry behavior; isolating you from friends or family; making you ask permission to go out or make a career move; threatening your possessions, pets, or children’s safety.
Do not allow behaviors that feel uncomfortable, frightening, or intimidating to become acceptable to you or your children. These behaviors are forms of abuse even if you do not fear for your safety. Make it clear to your spouse that he can no longer seek to control your life or your actions. If you do fear for your safety, you will need to take additional steps to stay safe. Click here for another terrific article.
When Your Children Are Involved and Affected
Children can be affected from parental violence in several ways. They can be injured during an incident between their parents; they can be traumatized by fear for their mother and their own sense of helplessness in protecting her; they can blame themselves for not preventing the violence or for causing it; they can be directly abused themselves; and they can be neglected by parents who cannot care for them properly due to the violence in their relationship. Studies show that parents underestimate how often and to what extent children are witnesses to parental violence. Both mothers and fathers report that children are witnesses less than the children report when given the opportunity to respond for themselves.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/.
For more information contact Peace Talks www.peace-talks.com
(C) 2008 Peace Talks Mediation Services, Inc.